Staff Professional Development

At Coppice Valley, we use national and international educational research and evidence to inform our development choices. In so doing, we can remain objective about choosing the best training and development to improve our approaches, practices and policies for our pupils. 


Developing teacher effectiveness is the purpose of staff training. The UK's Standards for Teachers' Professional Development cites that for training to be effective it must be sustained, collaborative, have teacher buy-in, be subject specific, draw on external expertise and be practice-based. Research since the standards were released has suggested an essential element has been omitted: habit formation. Breaking old habits and taking on new changes is hard work. Fletcher-Wood and Sims' research (TES, 21.09.18) into teacher development, stated that the most effective programmes in schools build in "instructional coaching" - frequent, individual, targeted guidance on small steps to improve. Coaching in this way helps to break habits and build new behaviours. 


Our leadership model incorporates this coaching model into staff development. The deputy head supports staff in and out of the classroom, over a sustained period of time, to develop new teaching and learning behaviours. These skills are chosen because they link to our school improvement priorities or are personalised to enhance the needs of individual teachers. These are often linked to individual performance management.


We also work with other schools within our area and academy trust. Currently we are working on an Innovation Project for the EYFS in association with Harrogate Grammar School. 


A vital part of continuing professional development (CPD) is evaluating the impact of it. We use the TDA (Training & Development Agency) Impact Evaluation of CPD suggested questions to evaluate the impact of CPD. Impact evaluations vary in nature depending on the type of training i.e. training for delivering a pupil intervention is measured in terms of pupil outcomes, training to improve teaching methods is measured by observing teaching. 


Workload and Wellbeing

School leaders are committed to ensuring all staff have a manageable workload. Our staff development programme is considerate of the demands put on staff. Pace of change and creating a fear-free culture in which to grow and develop are central to our work. The DfE's Workload Reduction Toolkit has been used to review and reduce workload. We have identified workload challenges through structured conversations (stage 1) and addressed them (stage 2). The impact of changes will be reviewed (stage 3) in due course. 


Ways we have reduced workload:

  • committed to a positive culture for change management i.e. sharing the need for change, consulting with staff, implementing changes at a reasonable pace with reasonable expectations, providing training and support.
  • created an efficient marking and feedback system that works for pupils and staff
  • invested in curriculum planning and provision materials that reduce workload for staff
  • reduced the amount and frequency of data collection required, insisting on no duplication of data collection and the smart use of data for multiple purposes
  • using the full functionality of Office 365 for schools for effective communication and recording of staff project work i.e. Teams
  • providing time within the school day for teachers and teaching assistants to communicate about pupils, teaching and learning
  • providing time to work with colleagues to plan together 
  • providing staff early in their career with additional support and training from the Deputy